by Ralph & Kathy Stephenson, Inside NOVA.Com

17 March 2009

“We understand that the Prince William Board of County Supervisors is debating and will soon decide fiscal year 2010 property tax rates. We support efforts to keep taxes low, or even reduce them, particularly in the kind of severe recession the country is now experiencing. We understand full well that it takes political courage to keep the size of government and taxes under control, and none whatsoever to constantly expand government, heedless of the interests of those footing most of the bill — middle-class taxpayers.

“We will continue to support efforts to keep taxes low as long as the county’s highest priorities are police and fire protection, schools/libraries, and roads/transportation. And we will support reasonable efforts to attract more business and commercial development to the county.

“We also think it is important to be mindful of what got us into the current mess in the first place and to ensure that it never happens again.  As Vice Chairman Covington has noted, the plight of ‘the family who has one wage earner unemployed, the homeowner who has seen the value of his house plummet, the small business owner who tries to hold on to valued employees, the corporation that planned to expand, and the senior citizen who has witnessed his pension fund decline in value by 50%,’ and others even worse off is heartbreaking and erodes the well-being of all. These human tragedies all around us are reminders of the ultimate, root cause of the current severe recession:  a housing industry with massive overcapacity, consequent massive housing oversupply, and years of concurrent political mischief and corruption by both major political parties [at the federal, state, and local levels] (with apparently only a few Republicans dissenting) to distort healthy market forces and overturn normal, honest financial practices in order to artificially force housing demand to fit oversupply.”

Ralph and Kathy Stephenson